"I am 100% certain." Witness says he saw a child wearing a Spider-Man suit the day William Tyrrell was taken, & more in News in 5.

With AAP.

1. Witness says he saw a child wearing a Spider-Man suit in the back of a car the day William Tyrrell was taken.

The inquest into the disappearance of William Tyrrell has implored a mystery woman to come forward after a witness said he saw her driving away from the Kendall area with a small boy on the day the toddler vanished.

Giving evidence before the inquest into William’s disappearance, local resident Ronald Chapman says he saw a woman drive past his Laurel Street home in the NSW mid-north coast town on September 12, 2014, in a “fawn-coloured four-wheel drive” with a boy dressed in a Spider-Man suit in the back seat.

William was three years old and wearing a Spider-Man suit when he went missing from his foster grandmother’s home that same day.

“In the backseat was a young boy with his hands up on the window [facing] outwards on the glass of the window,” Chapman told the inquest, as reported by the ABC.

“He was standing and unrestrained. He wasn’t crying. He was wearing a Spider-Man suit.

“I definitely saw William. I am 100 per cent certain it was William in the back of the car… no doubt.”

Chapman, a retiree, described the driver he saw as a woman “in her late 20s or early 30s,” with blonde tied-up hair.

After Chapman gave evidence on Wednesday, the counsel assisting the coroner, Gerard Craddock, made a plea for additional information.

“If there is a lady out there who was driving a… car with a child in the car, we do want that person to come forward,” he said.

Craddock’s request brought the inquest to a close for 2019. It’s set to resume in March 2020.

Ten days ago, Detective Sergeant Laura Beacroft told the inquest she didn’t believe Chapman was making up the story.

Laurel Street sits between Benaroon Drive – where the foster grandmother’s home was – and the Pacific Highway on the eastern side of Kendall.

It links to Benaroon Drive via Batar Creek Road.

Det Sgt Beacroft said Chapman believed the car – and another he saw following it – may have been driving in convoy but could have just been heading in the same direction at the same time.

She said she wasn’t sure if he provided a description of the person driving the second car.

2. Transgender Victorians now able to change their sex on their birth certificate.


New laws letting trans and gender diverse Victorians choose the sex on their birth certificates means Sage Akouri won’t have to feel unsafe or afraid of going to a doctor.

The changes will come into effect by May next year after passing the upper house on Tuesday night, bringing Victoria into line with other states and territories.

The law lets trans people change their birth certificates without having reassignment surgery and also means people won’t be restricted to listing male or female.

For Sage, an Equality Australia spokesperson who identifies as non-binary, it “means no longer having to feel unsafe, or afraid or hesitant of trying to access services”.

“I went to hospital one time and I had to get invasive questions from my doctor asking me things about how my partner and I engage in sexual activities and stuff that was so irrelevant to what I was there for,” they told AAP.

“The second that they saw that my sex on file’s always female – and I didn’t obviously present that way in person – the second that he (the doctor) discovered that it was open season.

“I didn’t feel very safe at all, they didn’t really take me very seriously and they didn’t help me with my problem at all. I had to end up going somewhere else.”

Under the new laws, which passed 26 votes to 14, children can apply to change their birth certificates as long as they have parental support and the backing of a doctor or another expert.

Victoria will join Tasmania, Northern Territory, South Australia and the ACT in making the change.

But the debate surrounding the bill has taken its toll on Sage.


“Listening to these politicians sort of speak about our community and my community like we’re not humans, we’re not people … has been really awful,” they said.

Victorian Equality Minister Martin Foley says the change is long overdue.

“It will make sure that gender diverse and trans Victorians have the same rights as everyone else for their foundation identity document to reflect who they are,” he told reporters at parliament on Wednesday.

The Liberal-National opposition were against the laws.

“A birth certificate is supposed to report somebody’s biological sex, but gender identification is a different concept,” Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien told reporters.

3. “I was fined $113,000 K for what?” Nick Kyrgios has accused the ATP of being corrupt.

Nick Kyrgios has accused the ATP of being corrupt in a sensational aftermath to his US Open first-round win over American Steve Johnson.

The tennis firebrand was asked what he thought about being fined a record $US113,000 ($A167,000) for his spectacular meltdown in Cincinnati this month.

“The ATP is pretty corrupt anyway. I’m not fussed about it at all,” he said in a development that will almost certainly force the governing body of men’s tennis to suspend the Australian, having already said it was considering such a move.

“I was fined $113,000 K for what? Why are we talking about something that happened three weeks ago when I just chopped up someone first round of a US Open?”


US Open officials had given Kyrgios the green light to play the final grand slam of the year despite tennis chiefs continuing to weigh up whether or not the temperamental talent should be suspended for his latest outburst in Cincinnati.

The ATP offered no time line around when it would make any decision on Kyrgios’ fate when quizzed on the eve of the Open, which started on Monday.

Believed to be the biggest fine in the sport’s history, Kyrgios was slapped with separate penalties for an audible obscenity, ball abuse, verbal abuse towards the umpire, leaving the court and four counts of unsportsmanlike conduct during his explosive second-round loss to Karen Khachanov.

In addition to the fines, the ATP said it was “looking further into what happened during and immediately after the match to see if additional action is warranted under the Player Major Offence section of the code and that could result in an additional fine and/or suspension”.

But the 24-year-old was unrepentant after progressing to the second round at Flushing Meadows.

“Have you ever sworn at someone before?” he countered at a journalist.

“You’re not an elite athlete.”

Asked if he was saying it was acceptable for elite athletes to swear, he said: “No, I’m just saying people get frustrated. It happens.”

Kyrgios has already been banned once, in late 2016 after tanking in Shanghai, and ordered to undergo counselling.

Adding to Kyrgios’s troubles was a fan tweeting vulgar video footage of him courtside after his win over Johnson.

“Always classy Nick Kyrgios. Wipes his sweat, crotch, armpits, then spits in a towel, right before throwing it to some fans. Real cool @NickKyrgios ?? the fan posted.

Kyrgios’s latest antics and accusations are sure to again test the patience of the ATP.

The US Open is run independently but a USTA official told AAP pre-tournament that organisers of the season’s final grand slam would follow the ATP’s lead when asked if Kyrgios could be banned.

4. Geoffrey Rush loses bid to prevent Nationwide News from repeating defamatory allegations.


Actor Geoffrey Rush, who was awarded $2.9 million for being defamed by Nationwide News, has lost his bid to ban the newspaper publisher from repeating the substance of its allegations.

Justice Michael Wigney on Wednesday dismissed the application for a permanent injunction to restrain Nationwide from republishing the meanings found to be conveyed in the defamatory material.

The Federal Court judge in April found the Daily Telegraph’s publisher and journalist Jonathon Moran were reckless regarding the truth when they reported Rush had been accused of inappropriate behaviour during a Sydney theatre production of King Lear.

The judge said a poster and two articles contained several defamatory meanings – including that Rush was a pervert and a sexual predator – but the publisher hadn’t proved they were true.

In May, Rush was awarded $2.9 million for damages plus interest and to account for his past and future economic loss.

In arguing for the injunction, the actor’s lawyers contended there was a serious risk that, unless restrained, Nationwide would continue to publish the imputations.

They submitted that Nationwide had displayed “irrationality, a lack of objectivity and defiance and disrespect” concerning Justice Wigney’s April liability judgment and the findings made against it.

But Nationwide disputed there was any threat or risk of republication.

It submitted the proposed injunction was a “blunt instrument” which would unfairly and unnecessarily curtail its right to report on or express opinions about the judge’s findings and its upcoming appeal.

Rush’s lawyers referred to four articles published after the judge found he had been defamed.

They included a report including a large photo of Rush’s former co-star Eryn Jean Norvill, who alleged he sexually harassed her, with the words: “I told the truth. I knew what happened. I was there”.


Another article was an opinion piece saying: “Justice Wigney has completely missed the point”.

But the judge said “whatever one may think of the quality and objectivity of the journalism, analysis and commentary” in the articles, they did not provide a basis upon which to infer that unless restrained, Nationwide will continue to publish the defamatory imputations.

The articles were either reports of the judgment or comprised comment or opinion about it – they did not simply repeat or republish the defamatory imputations, he said.

“Nationwide, like any other person, has a right within limits, to criticise and express disagreement with the liability judgment,” the judge said.

“There is at least a risk that the injunction sought by Mr Rush might effectively impinge on or restrict that right.”

If Nationwide did republish the defamatory imputations, Rush could seek leave to start new proceedings, he added.

5. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will suspend Britain’s parliament for more than a month before Brexit.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will suspend Britain’s parliament for more than a month before Brexit, enraging opponents and raising the stakes in the country’s most serious political crisis in decades.

Cheered on by US President Donald Trump, Johnson launched his boldest move yet to take the country out of the European Union by October 31 with or without a divorce deal, by setting a new date for a state opening of parliament.

Known as the Queen’s Speech, the formal event will be held on October 14 and be preceded by a suspension of the House of Commons, meaning parliament will not sit between mid-September and mid-October.

The move, which had to be approved by Queen Elizabeth, limits the time opponents have to derail a disorderly Brexit, but also increases the chance that Johnson could face a vote of no-confidence in his government, and possibly an election.

It also risks dragging the 93-year-old, politically neutral Queen into the dispute. So incensed were leaders of the opposition parties by Johnson’s plan that several have written to the monarch asking for a meeting to express their concern.

“There will be ample time in parliament for MPs to debate the EU, to debate Brexit and all the other issues, ample time,” Johnson told reporters on Wednesday.

Asked if he was trying to block MPs from delaying Britain’s EU departure, he replied: “That is completely untrue.”


The decision to limit parliamentary scrutiny weeks before the country’s most contentious policy decision in decades prompted an immediate outcry.

“Make no mistake, this is a very British coup,” John McDonnell, the second most powerful man in the opposition Labour Party, said. More than half a million people signed an online petition to object and the pound fell sharply.

Cries of “Shame on You” and “Stop the Coup” could be heard from inside the walls of the parliamentary estate, as a couple of hundred protesters gathered near the bank of the River Thames to wave EU flags and show their disgust.

“Democracy is so important. It’s taught from such a young age as such a vital thing about being a British person and today just completely ruins that, tramples it and throws it out,” said 17-year-old student Dylan Butlin, one of the protesters.

A group of cross-party MPs sought a legal injunction and the Speaker of parliament said the nation’s democratic process was at risk.

The Church of England said a chaotic Brexit would hurt the poor and further damage a fractured nation.

But Johnson’s gamble was welcomed by Brexiteers, including Trump, who said “Boris is exactly what the UK has been looking for, & will prove to be ‘a great one!’ Love UK”.

On Tuesday, the leaders of Britain’s opposition parties had agreed to seek to use parliamentary procedure to force Johnson to ask Brussels for a delay to Brexit beyond October 31. They may now try to bring him down.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he would call a no-confidence vote when the time was right.

With Johnson holding a working majority of just one seat in the 650-seat parliament, members of his party who oppose a no-deal Brexit will have to decide where their loyalties lie.

The pro-EU Conservative Party lawmaker Dominic Grieve said he would find it difficult to “keep confidence in the government” in the circumstances while Philip Hammond, a former finance minister, said pro-EU politicians needed to act now.

In a sign of the pressure building across the political system, media reports said Ruth Davidson, who led a resurgence for the Conservatives in Scotland, had decided to quit.

The BBC said her resignation, expected to be announced on Thursday, was not sparked by the suspension but had been coming for several months over family pressures and disagreements with Johnson’s approach. She sits in the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh and not Westminster.